Baby Eggplant Moussaka

I picked up three baby eggplants the other day and went looking for a recipe.  Couldn’t find anything that appealed so I decided to make a new version of my favourite Moussaka recipe.   Rather than layering the eggplant, potato and meat mixture in a casserole I decided to stuff the baby eggplants.

Here is what I did:

Cut the  eggplants in half.  Heated a little olive oil in a skillet.   Browned all sides of the eggplant and set aside until cool enough to handle.   Hollowed out eggplant halves being careful to avoid cutting through the skin. 


Chopped up the eggplant that was removed from shell.     Sauted  ground pork until it started to brown.   Added the onions and garlic and cooked for about 5 minutes. Seasoned with the salt, pepper, oregano, all-spice and cinnamon.   Added the chopped eggplant, a cubed russet potato and chopped tomatoes.   Simmered until the potatoes were tender. 

At this point I spooned the filling into the eggplant halves, covered and refrigerated to be finished later when I got home from work.

All I had to do to finish the dish was make a Bechamel Sauce to top the eggplants and bake for about 50 minutes at 350°F.

Served with a Greek Salad.


Source unknown
2 eggplants cut into 1/4 inch round slices
3 large potatoes, peeled and sliced into 1/4-inch thick long slices
1/2 cup flour, seasoned with salt and pepper
Vegetable oil. (1 to 2 inches deep)
For the beef tomato sauce:
2 pounds lean ground beef/veal/pork or lamb
1 large onion, medium diced
2 tablespoons minced garlic
Freshly ground black pepper
1 to 2 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 large can tomatoes, chopped
For the Bechamel:
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons flour
2 cups milk
Garlic clove cracked (not minced)
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3 egg yolks
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
Freshly ground black pepper
To Finish:
3/4 cup breadcrumbs
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
Slice eggplant and salt Let sit for 10 to 15 minutes Wipe dry
Season flour with salt and pepper. Dip eggplant into flour and fry in hot oil turning when golden. Dry on
Paper towels.
Fry potato slices until lightly golden. Remove the potatoes to a paper Towel.
For the ground beef Tomato Sauce mixture:
Saute the ground beef for 2 minutes, until it Begins to turn brown. Add the onions and garlic and saute for 5 more Minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Drain off any excess fat from the Pan. Season the mixture with allspice, oregano, and cinnamon and cook For 3 more minutes. Add the tomatoes. Cook, stirring occasionally
Until the mixture is a thick tomato sauce consistency, about 30 Minutes. Check for seasoning. Remove from the heat and cool.
For the Bechamel:
In a saucepan, melt the butter. Add the flour to make a roux. Cook the Roux over medium heat for 3 or 4 minutes, or until it becomes a very Pale tan color. Slowly add the milk, whisking constantly. Add the garlic clove, the Nutmeg and the lemon juice. Simmer, stirring constantly, over low heat For 15 minutes. The mixture should be fairly thick. Remove the garlic clove. In a separate bowl, Whisk the eggs together. Take 1/2 cup of the hot milk mixture and whisk It into the beaten eggs. This will temper the eggs. Whisk the egg/milk Mixture back into the milk mixture. Add the Parmesan cheese and stir. Over very low heat, cook this mixture for 3 more minutes. Be careful Not to let the mixture simmer. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from The heat and cool.
To finish: 
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Sprinkle the bottom of a Baking dish with 1/4 cup of breadcrumbs. Place a layer of the eggplant Over the breadcrumbs. Place a layer of the potatoes over the eggplant. Place 1/2 of the beef tomato sauce mixture over the potatoes. Add Another layer of eggplant and another layer of potatoes. Top with the Remaining lamb mixture. Place one more layer of eggplant and potatoes. Over the beef mixture. Top with bechamel. Sprinkle with The Parmesan cheese. Place in the oven And bake for 45 minutes, or until the top is golden brown. Remove from The oven and let sit for 10 minutes before serving.

12 Comments Add yours

  1. Peter M says:

    My dear, what you have made here is a dish called Papoutsakia or \”Little Shoes\”, It's one of my faves and yours looks fab.

  2. Linda says:

    OMG they look fabulous Ann…one of my favorite things!

  3. Ann I just read the first comment. I was going to say that a Greek woman that I knew made something similar (but I couldn't remember the name). I love Moussaka and am actually doing some Greek cooking this week for a party. Lovely!xoxo Pattie

  4. I can not wait until I have eggplants in the garden to try this dish! -Tien

  5. Ann………these look amazing. I make a Turkish dish similar to this but with no potatoes or bechamel sauce. The Turks call it 'Karniyarik'….it is one of my favourites. Erica.

  6. Barbara says:

    Fabulous! (And after reading Peter's comment, nice to know it has an official name, too!)My MIL used to stuff eggplant, but didn't use meat. All veggies. Have no idea what has happened to the recipe.Your dish, with all that lovely filling and cheese melted over the top, is making me want to make this for dinner!

  7. Peter, thank you. I learned something new. Don't recall ever seeing Papoutsakia before. But I will definitely be making it again. Thanks Linda.Pattie, I hope you are going to do a post on what you cooked for the party. Tien, I wish now I had planted eggplants this year.Ann

  8. Erica, I'll have to give the Turkish version a try. Moe and I both love eggplant.Barbara, I'm happy to have a name for them too. Looks like there are a number of versions. I was just trying to recreate the flavours of Moussaka.Ann

  9. Cathy says:

    Just plain scrumptious, Ann! I could eat that plate of eggplant and salad for breakfast. I can't wait to try this.

  10. a quiet life says:

    oh how i wished someone cooked for me when i come in tired and filthy… this looks sooooooo good!

  11. Anonymous says:

    This looks delicious! Any suggestions on how to make them vegetarian? Would you substitute anything for the meat or just leave it out and proceed with the recipe?

  12. Annonymous. You could adapt the recipe by making a rice stuffing for the eggplants.Ann

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